Apple (AAPL - Get Report) has released some of the best-selling products of all time, and has revolutionized whole industries on its own. Music, phones, computers and wearable technology have all been transformed as Apple has continued to grow in size and influence.
Apple started as a computer company April 1, 1976, forty years ago today. In those 40 years, it's gone from just making PCs to a whole host of products loved and clamored for by the masses year in and year out.
Steve Jobs, and to a lesser extent, Steve Wozniak, built Apple's reputation on aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use products. As Apple grew from its infancy to the $600 billion behemoth it is now, its reach expanded, going from only being for hobbyists, geeks and technophiles to a mainstay brand for everyday consumers.
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Here's TheStreet's look at 7 of the best Apple products ever made, based on our assessment of impact to society, sales figures, media buzz or just plain coolness.
1. The Apple II
The Apple II started it all back in 1977. Built just 12 months after the Apple I, the Apple II started Apple on the journey to what it has become today. It was the fastest-selling personal computer of its time, and was designed primarily by Wozniak. A little-known fact is the Apple II was actually a line of computers Apple kept producing up until the Apple IIe, which stopped in November 1993.
The Apple II was one of the first personal computers that had color graphics, and came with two gaming paddles right out of the box. There were also eight slots built into the Apple II allowing users to expand it and customize it, including adding more memory, graphics and the ability to add a printer and a floppy drive.
Apple's first big-time computer cost consumers $1,298 when it first went on sale (more than $5,000 today!), but that didn't stop the company from selling "well over 300,000 units." It generated $79 million in revenue for Apple Computer in 1979.
2. The Mac
Following the success of the Apple II, Apple failed with the Apple III, with Wozniak saying the machine was designed by the marketing department instead of the engineering department, a disaster from which the company had a hard time recovering.
In 1984, that all changed when Jobs unveiled the Mac to the world in a Super Bowl commercial unlike anything the world had ever seen.
Originally named the Apple Macintosh, the Mac took the personal computing revolution to a level the Apple II never did. Known for its distinctive beige design, the computer came with a monitor, keyboard and a mouse, and is remembered for its groundbreaking graphical user interface (GUI).
Once the Mac became a hit, a second product came out named the Mac 512K, with the original Mac becoming known as the Mac 128K. Unlike the Apple II, the Mac was not expandable and cost users $2,495.
Apple is known for all the great hardware it has made over the years, but one piece of software helped turned the fortune of the company around forever: iTunes.
Apple first introduced iTunes, a digital jukebox of sorts, in January 2001. The program's big innovation was allowing a user to store all their songs on a computer in one place. Unlike many of Apple's products, iTunes is a free download that was originally available only for the Mac OS, but later came to Microsoft's (MSFT - Get Report) Windows to help expand iTunes' reach.
Although iTunes was launched with just the ability to store all your music in one place, it became something much more. With iTunes, users can now burn CDs and purchase MP3s, albums, movies, TV shows, books, and other forms of content all straight from the platform, giving Apple access to 800 million (and growing) credit cards and user accounts.
4. The iPod
In October 2001, Apple changed the world yet again by introducing consumers to the iPod. It was described as allowing users to have a "thousand songs in your pocket." The first iPods went on sale on Nov. 10, 2001.
The first portable MP3 players were out long before Apple came up with the iPod, but Apple's ability to reinvent a market and make it easy to use created something everyone wanted to have and couldn't do without.
The original iPod was known for its famous click-wheel, which helped users quickly and easily scroll through their music library. It originally came in 5 GB and 10 GB models, but in subsequent versions, Apple increased the amount of storage on the device to 160 GB. The original iPod connected via Firewire, but this later changed to USB, for both syncing and charging. The 5 GB version cost users $399, while the 10 GB version cost $499.
The iPod spawned a seemingly endless line of products, including the iPod Mini, iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle and iPod Touch.
5. The iPhone
The first iPhone was unveiled at Macworld 2007 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The first two models, a 4 GB version and an 8 GB version, cost $499 and $599, respectively. It garnered so much positive attention from the press it was dubbed the "Jesus phone."
In the first five quarters the iPhone was available, Apple sold 6.1 million units. Later on, Apple eventually cut the price by $200, and Steve Jobs apologized to users.
The iconic device ushered in a new era of smartphones, and now accounts for more than 60% of Apple's revenue, per its latest quarterly filing.
6. The iPhone 5s
The iPhone proved to be a big hit and got people talking, but not until the iPhone 5s did Apple truly show how a smartphone could replace the PC and other mobile devices for all your computing needs.
The iPhone 4s was the first phone to include Siri, Apple's personal assistant, but the 5s was the first phone to include a 64-bit chip, the A7, that allows users to do everything they could on a PC, but at incredibly fast speeds.
One Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) employee was quoted as saying the A7 chip took the mobile industry by surprise. "The 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut," said the Qualcomm employee. "Not just us, but everyone, really. We were slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared."
The 5s was 4 inches, the same size as the previous iPhone 5, and incorporated TouchID, a feature that led to Apple incorporating Apple Pay, its mobile payments platform, into the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.
7. Apple Watch
Apple's first new product since the iPad in 2010, the Apple Watch has garnered a lot of criticism, praise and everything in between since first going on sale last year.
Most of the early features have catered toward fitness and health, but there are more than 4,000 apps available for the Watch, according to comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Even though the Watch hasn't done as well as some on Wall Street would have liked, it's still selling extremely well. Research firm IDC said Watch sales totaled 4.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 11.6 million for all of 2015, making Apple the world's third-largest wearable vendor, behind only Fitbit (FIT - Get Report) and Xiaomi.